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Opinion: What Is Life?

Designing the simplest possible living organism artificially may lend clues as to what life is.

By | February 16, 2012

Virus modelsFLICKR, RAZZA MATHADSA

The definition of life is as enormous a problem as the phenomenon of life itself. One could easily collect from the literature more than 100 different definitions, none satisfactory enough to be broadly accepted. What should the definition contain, to be suitable for all varieties of observable life? Humans, animals, plants, microorganisms. Do viruses also belong to life?

There are two tendencies in the attempts to define life. One is to formulate an all-inclusive definition, accommodating life's attributes and manifestations from all levels of complexity.1 Another tendency is to reduce the attributes to only those which are common to all forms of life.2 But we do not know what would be the “simplissimus” from which everything, probably, started. Darwin speculated 140 years ago,3 not knowing yet about nucleic acids: “…we could conceive in some warm little pond, with all sorts of ammonia and phosphoric salts, light, heat, electricity etc., present, that a protein compound was chemically formed, ready to undergo still more complex changes.” If we could identify and characterize this “warm little pond” creature, its features might suggest the minimalistic definition of life.

Viruses are simple, having often only protein coat and one or a few molecules of nucleic acids. But this is only a minute part of their description. For reproduction they require the whole complexity of the higher organisms in which they reside. But the “individuality” of the virus is encoded in its genome. Viruses do not invade any arbitrary organism, but rather target specific host species, dictated by the virus’s own genes.

Still, the virus is a good clue in the search for the simplissimus. This was appreciated first by Sol Spiegelman in late ’60s, who observed the process of self-reproduction of the viral RNA by imitating intracellular conditions in a tube.4 All the replicating RNA needed was the building blocks—nucleotides, taken from the lab’s shelf, and purified natural protein RNA-replicase, encoded in the viral RNA and produced by host cells. The system not only copied the RNA endlessly, but also displayed ability to mutate, to change the sequence of the RNA to any degree of dissimilarity with original viral RNA.

Another extremely simple system found in nature is viroids, the most primitive plant disease agents, which consist of only RNA. They invade a plant and force it to produce the viroid RNA. This RNA does not encode any proteins, but serves merely to direct the expression of relevant host proteins and cellular processes. That is, the viroid, if considered as a living organism with non-traditional life cycle, is just an RNA, with the sequence instructing its own propagation (via the host), all ingredients and copying devices provided by the host’s cells.

Both of these examples are not the simplest, though, as they require enzymes provided by more sophisticated organisms. But could not we artificially synthesize the replicase or a simplified version? What about removing the replicase and relying upon RNA only? After all, RNA is a “ribozyme” with many catalytic properties typical of protein enzymes. If some primitive version of RNA (or perhaps even DNA) is capable of self-replication, and respective monomer units required for the synthesis could be produced abiotically or artificially in some reasonable setup imitating primordial conditions—the nucleotide analogs to the abiotic synthesis of natural amino acids observed by Stanley Miller in his model system of early Earth atmosphere, for example5—the RNA itself would become, probably, the simplest living entity.

Whether we stop the reductionist strive here, at replicating RNA, or continue even further down, to the variety of abiotic syntheses, depends on what we define as life. The border between life and nonlife may, actually, be placed anywhere within the realm of the abiotic processes. Oligonucleotides, oligopeptides, nucleobases, amino acids, sugars—all could be considered as very primitive and simplistic life forms, if the definition is extended (and simplified) to the very elements. Before 1828, when organic substances could be found only within living matter, the popular idea of a “vital force” reigned. In those days, one could draw the life/nonlife border at the first appearance of the small “vital force” (i.e., organic) molecules. Abiotic synthesis of urea by Friedrich Wöhler in 1828 dethroned this common belief.

The hypothetical primitive RNA replication process has a degree of sophistication that separates it from mere chemistry: it copies itself and allows copying mistakes, which themselves are copied in future generations. In other words, this is the process of self-reproduction with variations (as in Spiegelman’s system), not just organic synthesis. This is the very definition of life suggested by the developing theory of early molecular evolution.6,7 The same formula is derived by “word count” analysis, which yields the most frequently used words, of more than 100 known definitions of life (2). The recent discovery that both genes and genomes appear to have emerged originally as simple tandem repeats, with subsequent mutations increasing their complexity8,9 makes such definition even more attractive. One can view a genome as molecular habitat for emergence of “new life” in the form of expanding and mutating simple repeats. In that sense, and under the above minimalistic definition, life never stopped emerging, starting some 4 billion years ago with replicating RNA,6,7 and continuing to this day within the genomes of every living organism.

Edward N. Trifonov is a professor at the University of Haifa in Israel and Masaryk University in the Czech Republic. He can be contacted at mailto:trifonov@research.haifa.ac.il.

 

1. J. Gayon, C. Malaterre, M. Morange, F. Raulin-Cerceau, and S. Tirard (guest Eds.). Special Issue: Definitions of life. Origins Life Evol Biospheres, 40, 119-244, 2010.

2. E.N. Trifonov, “Vocabulary of definitions of life suggests a definition.” Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics, 29, 259-266, 2011.

3. C. Darwin, as quoted in M. Calvin (1969) Chemical evolution. Molecular evolution towards the origin of living systems on earth and elsewhere. Clarendon, Oxford.

4. D.L. Kacian, S. Spiegelman, D.R. Mills, F.R. Kramer, “Replicating RNA molecule suitable for a detailed analysis of extracellular evolution and replication.” Proceedings of National Academy of Sciences USA, 69,  3038-3042, 1972.

5. S.L. Miller, “A production of amino acids under possible primitive earth conditions.” Science, 117, 528-529, 1953.

6. E.N. Trifonov, Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics, 22, 1-11, 2004.

7. E.N. Trifonov, Research in Microbiology, 160, 481-486, 2009.

8. Z. Koren,  E.N. Trifonov, “Role of everlasting triplet expansions in protein evolution.” Journal of Molecular Evolution, 72, 232-239, 2011.

9. Z.M.Frenkel, E.N. Trifonov, “Origin and evolution of genes and genomes. Crucial role of triplet expansions.” Submitted to Journal of Biomolecular Structure & Dynamics.

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Avatar of: wertexy

wertexy

Posts: 2

February 16, 2012

 What Is Life? - intriguing question is still. Of cause we need an answer, but is it possible one universal answer for every case?

Avatar of: wertexy

wertexy

Posts: 2

February 16, 2012

What Is Life? - intriguing question is still. Of cause we need an answer, but is it possible one universal answer for every case?

Avatar of: rameshraghuvanshi

rameshraghuvanshi

Posts: 20

February 16, 2012

 We already  created  con sheep,can create con man.My question con man` s`soul will develop as a saint or devil? If his soul is developed as a devil how can he behave in the world?

February 16, 2012

Life is a partially-controlled chemical fire that sustains itself by several mechanisms including food collection, and reproduction.

It may have started more than once, but all the life that we see around comes (actually, is) the one surviving fire from 4+ billion years ago.

Avatar of: Ed Rybicki

Ed Rybicki

Posts: 82

February 16, 2012

I like "Life is the phenomenon associated with the replication and maintenance of self-coding informational systems".  This would of course include viruses, and also pretty much anything that could be considered as "self coding informational systems". 

Like computer viruses. Organised plasma clouds.  People.

And it has been stated independently by two people with Polish surnames, so it MUST be right...B-)
http://www.microbiologybytes.c...

Another one I really liked was written by an Honours student of mine - who became a rabbi, so he MUST have been wise:

"Life is an eddy in the entropic flow of information - and viruses are smaller eddies in those swirls".

Avatar of: G. Waleed Kavalec

G. Waleed Kavalec

Posts: 1457

February 16, 2012

"Life is what you make it."
 -- Victor Fankenstein

Avatar of: Dov

Dov

Posts: 1457

February 16, 2012

Is TheScientist blind?  Or are you members of the Church Of The AAAS religious-political trade-union?

Universe-Energy-Mass-Life Compilation
http://universe-life.com/2012/...
 
 
A. The Universe
 
From the Big-Bang it is a rationally commonsensical conjecture that the gravitons, the smallest base primal particles of the universe, must be both mass and energy, i.e. inert mass yet in motion even at the briefest fraction of a second of the pre Big Bang singularity. This is rationally commonsensical since otherwise the Big would not have Banged, the superposition of mass and energy would not have been resolved.
The universe originates, derives and evolves from this energy-mass dualism which is possible and probable due to the small size of the gravitons.
Since gravitation Is the propensity of energy reconversion to mass and energy is mass in motion, gravity is the force exerted between mass formats.
All the matter of the universe is a progeny of the gravitons evolutions, of the natural selection of mass, of some of the mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations, with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, the reversion of their own constitutional mass to the pool of cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion set in motion by the Big Bang.
 
B. Earth Life
 
Earth Life is just another mass format. A self-replicating mass format. Self-replication is its mode of evolution, natural selection. Its smallest base primal units are the RNAs genes.
The genesis of RNAs genes, life’s primal organisms, is rationally commonsensical thus highly probable, the “naturally-selectedâ€쳌 RNA nucleotides. Life began/evolved on Earth with the natural selection of inanimate RNA, then of some RNA nucleotides, then arriving at the ultimate mode of natural selection, self-replication.
 
C. Know Thyself. Life Is Simpler Than We Are Told
 
The origin-reason and the purpose-fate of life are mechanistic, ethically and practically valueless. Life is the cheapest commodity on Earth.
As Life is just another mass format, due to the oneness of the universe it is commonsensical that natural selection is ubiquitous for ALL mass formats and that life, self-replication, is its extension. And it is commonsensical, too, that evolutions, broken symmetry scenarios, are ubiquitous in all processes in all disciplines and that these evolutions are the “quantum mechanicsâ€쳌 of the processes.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base primal Earth organisms.
 
Life’s evolution, self-replication:
 
Genes (organisms) to genomes (organisms) to monocellular to multicellular organisms:
 
Individual monocells to cooperative monocells communities,“culturesâ€쳌.
Monocells cultures to neural systems, then to nerved multicellular organisms.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base Earth organism.
It is up to humans themselves to elect the purpose and format of their life as individuals and as group-members.
 
Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of: alexandru

alexandru

Posts: 1457

February 16, 2012

According to my studies, exposed in
four books, the man, attention please! - male and female -, is the materialized
according to the information which is contained in Adam mtDNA, existed only in
xifoid process, called one of the man's ribs (Genesis 2.21), or sternum peak
called double edged sword peak, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints
and marrow come together (Paul, Hebrews 4.12 - the best description in the
world).

Proverbs 1.22 - *How
long will you enjoy pouring scorn on knowledge? Will you never learn?*

The only real problem
for The Scientist is to understand the soul feedback.

Based on Adam mtDNA heritage, observed only at the puberty only in *born
boy's* seminal liquid (not in vitro made), I have developed a new
bio-communication theory, Mitochondrial Adam DNA data transmission theory - ISBN 978-606-92107-1-0:

Abstract: Brain
and soul storming - The
necessary and sufficient processes to a well function of the human body are
meticulous arranged by specific organizational cells, so called process
biomanagers, using interconditioned procedures, transmitted through three ways
of communication: chemical or “protein channelâ€쳌, electrical or “ion channelâ€쳌
and mitochondrial or “EMF wireless channelâ€쳌. The third type is out of the
visible and measurable spectrum and raises a new challenge to the scientists.
For this type of bio communication we bring a new theoretical hypothesis, based
on the managerial multidisciplinary analysis of a cybernetic model proposed by
us, by simulating the human body function with the virtual computerized system
based on the management of its total knowledge and its perfect quality way of
function. The main bricks used for this virtual construction are: the brain, as
main bioprocessor, and Eve mtDNA and Adam mtDNA, as bio-antennas. This assembly
of the total knowledge, build with “brain reasoning, biological feeling, and
unlimited soul feelingâ€쳌, is called by us “main decision triangle, IQ-EQ-CQâ€쳌.
The main principle of the management of the total knowledge imposes us to not
neglect any information produced by man during the time, even if it seems creasy
at the beginning. Because in the natural fertilisation the spermatozoids are naturally
equipped with the paternal mtDNA (a veritable main bio-GPS), we consider that
the paternal mitochondria DNA have a very important role in the evolution of
the human being life quality and we have developed a new hypothesis, “Adam
mtDNA theoryâ€쳌, in addition to “Eve mtDNA theoryâ€쳌.

Keywords: brain,
mitochondria, maternal, paternal

 

Avatar of: Guest

Anonymous

February 16, 2012

Once again an article is published posing the question of what something is.   The answer to any question of what anything "is," can be answered with the words, "That depends."

Suppose we ask what an automobile "is."  What it "is" depends upon what we choose as being the essential characteristics.  For example, we might agree that, to be an automobile, something that can transport one or more human persons from one place to another, has some kind of engine, has a shell of some sort to protect a driver or occupant from the elements, can be steered by the driver, can be sped up or slowed down by the driver...  But some things have been built and called automobiles by some people that had three wheels, or have a framed but not much of a protective shell, or can be driven only by remote control.  Just how many characteristics usually associated with what an automobile is are enough?  The drawing of definitive lines around what something is, and what something is in many cases arbitrary and subjective.

If one scientist wants to include viruses among living things, he or she can do that.  If another wants to say, "No, to fit the profile of a living thing, something must be capable of reproducing on its own."  If another scientist does not want to include viruses on his/her list of things that are alive, on grounds a virus must insert itself into a cell capable of reproducing itself, and trick that cell into replicating copies of the virus, is the one scientist wrong, and the other right?  Are both wrong.  Are both right?  Well, that depends.  Depends on what?  Depends on whether we wish to include in our definition of who is right, or who is wrong, the postulation that it is okay for two scientists to define "life" by including unassisted self-replication as a characteristic of all living things, or not.

Suppose a million scientists were polled, and asked to vote on whether unassisted self-replicability should be included as an "essential" characteristic for defining what "life is."  And suppose 97% declared that what life "is" includes the characteristic of being able to replicate without access to a cell to invade.  Are the other 3% wrong from that moment onward?  Or, better yet, were those 3% right in that they were thinking in accordance with a permitted laxity right up until the poll was taken, but wrong if they do not go along with the majority opinion from that moment on?  That depends.  Depends on what?  Depends on whether you require that the classification of something fit only one definition.

Engineers and mechanics of some sorts are familiar with a handy little tool for determining the outside diameter of a rivet.  It's called a "go-no-go guage."  Such a gauge can be pocket sized, and can have holes of various sizes in it.  The trick is to find out which is the smallest holed or the largest hole on the sheet that a given rivet will fit through.  But, one's particular application of that tool may impact just which hole is the Goldilocks one -- the smallest the rivet will go through without any pressure, or the next smaller hole, that requires some pressure, or some tapping, to get the rivet to pass through.  Which, in that case, is the 'right' hole?  That depends.  It depends on what application you want to use the bolt for, and what specifications that application must meet to be "good enough" or "tirquable enough."  If a bolt does not fit tightly enough 

Whether any two people would get into a heated argument, or spend millions of dollars competing with one another in researching to be the first to arrive at some new break-through as to what something "is," might be absurd.  Or it might not be absurd.  Well, which is the answer?  That depends.

Happily, in some areas of scientific research, there is no dogma at issues in how one defines something.  In the early days of research and development of jet engines, some of the main drivers of "standards" such as what should be the best materials to use, and what levels of precision of clearance, and tolerance, would suffice, some of the objectives were to build something that would operate for many engine hours, producing a given amount of thrust, without exploding, without melting, without vibrating things around it to pieces, without being any heavier than was necessary...  In other science areas, however, qualitative issues can be something highly subjective.  In medical treatment of burn victims, for example, what are the limits of what patients would be saved, and at what costs.  Suppose a burn victim has not arms, legs, eyes, face left, but can be kept alive, if you spend fifty million dollars and have a staff of twenty people on hand around the clock to attend to the "survivor" for three months, after which the "survivor" is not likely to be able to go on living.  Is quality of life an issue?  Is expense an issue? 

Another area of much debate, as relating to what "life" is, is that one's definition may upset those who want to believe in one or another presumption about whether life occurred as an interaction or a series of interactions between mindless, emotionless, meaningless, purposeless happenstance, or whether it was set in motion -- had live breathed into things -- by a thinking, caring, discriminating sort of creator.  Science has never established which.  Will science ever?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But there are individual humans who exercise a choice to believe the one or the other, and get angry at those who choose the other possibility.  Often those of the one persuasion call the other such things as "stupid," "stubborn," "dogmatic," "naive."

Is one side right and the other side wrong?  That depends.  Depends on what?
Depends on lots of things.  Depends on whether, UNTIL  SUCH  TIME, as science can prove for a certainty many things that lie beyond reach of science -- so far at least -- have a "right" to choose for themselves what lies beyond what science can "know," and science cannot falsify.

What seems odd to me is that those who choose as most likely the one possibility or the other possibility sometimes seem to want to shut the other side up -- refuse to let them speak, chastise them.

Picture this:  Suppose I were to find a little hermetically sealed cylinder that seems impossible to break into.  No scientist nor engineer nor philosopher nor genius of any sort is able to open that cylinder, so people start arguing over what is inside it.  Scientists and engineers DO, however, discover that they can peel away one thin layer of the outside of that cylinder.  But with each removal of a layer, there is just a slightly smaller cylinder inside it.

People begin to form opinions about what is inside the innermost cylinder.

What do you think is in it?

That cylinder is (because I chose it to be so, and it's my story, thank you) a metaphor for human ignorance.  Will there every be a final peeling away that reveals what is ultimately at the center of that cylinder?  Or will there never be a peeling away that does not merely expose another cylinder within?

Why don't you find someone who has a different idea of what's in there than you have.  Debate it.  Argue about it.  Fight over it.

Will the last one of you left standing be "right" about what's in the center of that cylinder, assuming there is something other than just one more cylinder to infinity?

Human ignorance is like that.

So, now, let us look back at the beginning of this comment.  And ask, "What is life."

Maybe Bill Clinton said it best, under oath, in a Congressional hearing:  "That depends on what you mean by 'is' ."

( : > )

 

Avatar of: Fred Estabrook

Fred Estabrook

Posts: 1

February 16, 2012

According to Trifonov in this article, the definition of "life" is replicating RNA i.e., certain chemical behavior(s) dictated completely by the interaction of those chemicals and the host environment. This process is therefore dependent upon not only the specific chemicals but also the specific environment. I agree, "life" has always been emerging in the universe (the author said "never stopped" which doesn't make sense). As the universe came into existence so did "life." The universe is alive. The "mind" that perceives "life" is itself the definition of "life." "Life" and "Mind" are both inherent in the universe. Existence can be defined as "mind" and scientists can't perceive this because they're excluding from the definition the mechanism of perception. See Youtube video by Krauss "The Universe from Nothing" in which a (similar) conclusion is arrived at: the existence of the astronomers is necessary for the mathematical explanation/proof to be perceived as factual or "true." Mind acting upon mind?

Avatar of: Dov

Dov

Posts: 1457

February 16, 2012

Are you blind to reality?  Or are you afraid of your AAAS church-religious-political-trade-union??

What Is Life?  Opinuion About FACTS ???

Universe-Energy-Mass-Life Compilation
http://universe-life.com/2012/...
 
 
A. The Universe
 
From the Big-Bang it is a rationally commonsensical conjecture that the gravitons, the smallest base primal particles of the universe, must be both mass and energy, i.e. inert mass yet in motion even at the briefest fraction of a second of the pre Big Bang singularity. This is rationally commonsensical since otherwise the Big would not have Banged, the superposition of mass and energy would not have been resolved.
The universe originates, derives and evolves from this energy-mass dualism which is possible and probable due to the small size of the gravitons.
Since gravitation Is the propensity of energy reconversion to mass and energy is mass in motion, gravity is the force exerted between mass formats.
All the matter of the universe is a progeny of the gravitons evolutions, of the natural selection of mass, of some of the mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations, with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, the reversion of their own constitutional mass to the pool of cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion set in motion by the Big Bang.
 
B. Earth Life
 
Earth Life is just another mass format. A self-replicating mass format. Self-replication is its mode of evolution, natural selection. Its smallest base primal units are the RNAs genes.
The genesis of RNAs genes, life’s primal organisms, is rationally commonsensical thus highly probable, the “naturally-selectedâ€쳌 RNA nucleotides. Life began/evolved on Earth with the natural selection of inanimate RNA, then of some RNA nucleotides, then arriving at the ultimate mode of natural selection, self-replication.
 
C. Know Thyself. Life Is Simpler Than We Are Told
 
The origin-reason and the purpose-fate of life are mechanistic, ethically and practically valueless. Life is the cheapest commodity on Earth.
As Life is just another mass format, due to the oneness of the universe it is commonsensical that natural selection is ubiquitous for ALL mass formats and that life, self-replication, is its extension. And it is commonsensical, too, that evolutions, broken symmetry scenarios, are ubiquitous in all processes in all disciplines and that these evolutions are the “quantum mechanicsâ€쳌 of the processes.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base primal Earth organisms.
 
Life’s evolution, self-replication:
 
Genes (organisms) to genomes (organisms) to monocellular to multicellular organisms:
 
Individual monocells to cooperative monocells communities,“culturesâ€쳌.
Monocells cultures to neural systems, then to nerved multicellular organisms.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base Earth organism.
It is up to humans themselves to elect the purpose and format of their life as individuals and as group-members.
 
Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

Avatar of: Throwaway

Throwaway

Posts: 1457

February 16, 2012

The only phenomenon unique to life known to me is the ability to evolve, to reproduce with imperfect transmission of hereditary information. Crystals can grow, but do not evolve. Fire can reproduce, but does not evolve.
Of course, if one from this defines Life as "everything which evolves", then are not only viruses and self-replicating RNA life, but life has already been simulated on computers and created de novo in the laboratory - and that is apparently a distasteful conclusion for many.

Avatar of: Roy Niles

Roy Niles

Posts: 32

February 16, 2012

What all of these putative life forms have in common is that they make proactive choices to obtain energy to survive and replicate themselves.  The molecular formations that are made of energy, but that react with predictably fixed options to other energetic forms, have less in common with those that, in effect, make and select their own options.  These latter are those that we have come to see as living.
But the lines that purport to separate them on the spectrum are necessarily blurred.

Avatar of: FJScientist

FJScientist

Posts: 52

February 16, 2012

Keepitlegal nicely states that what is life depends on how you define it. So, does it matter if we have a definition of life? Not to a scientist except in a barroom discussion. A definition may be required for legal issues. Ultimately society makes legal policy, which we hope are informed at least somewhat by science.

What about my own barroom discussion about the definition of life. I personally start with the proposal that life is any population that reproduces a reasonable facsimile of itself provided that the materials and conditions for its growth are present. A virus is no different from us in that its necessary materials and conditions are in a cell whereas ours happens to be the atmosphere and biota of earth (which the virus's cell is also a part of). However, the earth per se is not a component of the definition since life could exist anywhere, even in the darkest parts of space, so long as the materials are available for the continuation of that particular life form.

Long-term, the virus relies on sustaining the cellular environment (i.e., not killing it) just as we depend on a sustainable-to-us earth. But, even if we or viruses we destroy our environments, we are life--just here temporarily. How many replications (of the population, not the individual) are enough to qualify as life? As Keepitlegal states 'it depends on your definition'. 

Where does the replication-oriented definition collapse? What about the hypothetical Lt. Commmander Data from Star Trek. Those who have seen Star Trek will surely recognize Data as a sentient being. But Data can't reproduce and nobody knows how to rebuild him. He was built (replicated??) once. What would separate Data from an automobile, which by my definition are even more apt to be called 'life' than Data since we could argue that an automobile has found an interesting parastic niche in which humans are used to replicate that 'species'? Although Data does not yet exist anywhere but in the imaginations of the writers of Star Trek and millions of Trekkies, my barroom discussion most assuredly would show that I need to create a special exemption to my replication-focussed definition of life.

In short, Keepitlegal is right. It depends on the definition and that definition must remain flexible as we continue to uncover new understandings of life.

I need a beer. Oatmeal stout for breakfast anyone? Next, we can talk about the meaning of life.

Avatar of: dschwartzman

dschwartzman

Posts: 7

February 16, 2012

The replication of a molecule is not equivalent to the activity of cellular life, a primordial virus perhaps but not metabolism plus replication. The RNA first school generally ignores the alternative for abiogenesis, metabolism first, driven by a thermodynamic gradient such as in Mike Russell's scenario, followed by the coevolution of metabolism and replication. The late Robert Shapiro has cogently criticized the primordial soup/RNA equals the origin of life school, but Trifonov goes on as if no such critique exists.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

 What Is Life? - intriguing question is still. Of cause we need an answer, but is it possible one universal answer for every case?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

What Is Life? - intriguing question is still. Of cause we need an answer, but is it possible one universal answer for every case?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

 We already  created  con sheep,can create con man.My question con man` s`soul will develop as a saint or devil? If his soul is developed as a devil how can he behave in the world?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

Life is a partially-controlled chemical fire that sustains itself by several mechanisms including food collection, and reproduction.

It may have started more than once, but all the life that we see around comes (actually, is) the one surviving fire from 4+ billion years ago.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

I like "Life is the phenomenon associated with the replication and maintenance of self-coding informational systems".  This would of course include viruses, and also pretty much anything that could be considered as "self coding informational systems". 

Like computer viruses. Organised plasma clouds.  People.

And it has been stated independently by two people with Polish surnames, so it MUST be right...B-)
http://www.microbiologybytes.c...

Another one I really liked was written by an Honours student of mine - who became a rabbi, so he MUST have been wise:

"Life is an eddy in the entropic flow of information - and viruses are smaller eddies in those swirls".

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

"Life is what you make it."
 -- Victor Fankenstein

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 16, 2012

Is TheScientist blind?  Or are you members of the Church Of The AAAS religious-political trade-union?

Universe-Energy-Mass-Life Compilation
http://universe-life.com/2012/...
 
 
A. The Universe
 
From the Big-Bang it is a rationally commonsensical conjecture that the gravitons, the smallest base primal particles of the universe, must be both mass and energy, i.e. inert mass yet in motion even at the briefest fraction of a second of the pre Big Bang singularity. This is rationally commonsensical since otherwise the Big would not have Banged, the superposition of mass and energy would not have been resolved.
The universe originates, derives and evolves from this energy-mass dualism which is possible and probable due to the small size of the gravitons.
Since gravitation Is the propensity of energy reconversion to mass and energy is mass in motion, gravity is the force exerted between mass formats.
All the matter of the universe is a progeny of the gravitons evolutions, of the natural selection of mass, of some of the mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations, with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, the reversion of their own constitutional mass to the pool of cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion set in motion by the Big Bang.
 
B. Earth Life
 
Earth Life is just another mass format. A self-replicating mass format. Self-replication is its mode of evolution, natural selection. Its smallest base primal units are the RNAs genes.
The genesis of RNAs genes, life’s primal organisms, is rationally commonsensical thus highly probable, the “naturally-selectedâ€쳌 RNA nucleotides. Life began/evolved on Earth with the natural selection of inanimate RNA, then of some RNA nucleotides, then arriving at the ultimate mode of natural selection, self-replication.
 
C. Know Thyself. Life Is Simpler Than We Are Told
 
The origin-reason and the purpose-fate of life are mechanistic, ethically and practically valueless. Life is the cheapest commodity on Earth.
As Life is just another mass format, due to the oneness of the universe it is commonsensical that natural selection is ubiquitous for ALL mass formats and that life, self-replication, is its extension. And it is commonsensical, too, that evolutions, broken symmetry scenarios, are ubiquitous in all processes in all disciplines and that these evolutions are the “quantum mechanicsâ€쳌 of the processes.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base primal Earth organisms.
 
Life’s evolution, self-replication:
 
Genes (organisms) to genomes (organisms) to monocellular to multicellular organisms:
 
Individual monocells to cooperative monocells communities,“culturesâ€쳌.
Monocells cultures to neural systems, then to nerved multicellular organisms.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base Earth organism.
It is up to humans themselves to elect the purpose and format of their life as individuals and as group-members.
 
Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

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February 16, 2012

According to my studies, exposed in
four books, the man, attention please! - male and female -, is the materialized
according to the information which is contained in Adam mtDNA, existed only in
xifoid process, called one of the man's ribs (Genesis 2.21), or sternum peak
called double edged sword peak, to where soul and spirit meet, to where joints
and marrow come together (Paul, Hebrews 4.12 - the best description in the
world).

Proverbs 1.22 - *How
long will you enjoy pouring scorn on knowledge? Will you never learn?*

The only real problem
for The Scientist is to understand the soul feedback.

Based on Adam mtDNA heritage, observed only at the puberty only in *born
boy's* seminal liquid (not in vitro made), I have developed a new
bio-communication theory, Mitochondrial Adam DNA data transmission theory - ISBN 978-606-92107-1-0:

Abstract: Brain
and soul storming - The
necessary and sufficient processes to a well function of the human body are
meticulous arranged by specific organizational cells, so called process
biomanagers, using interconditioned procedures, transmitted through three ways
of communication: chemical or “protein channelâ€쳌, electrical or “ion channelâ€쳌
and mitochondrial or “EMF wireless channelâ€쳌. The third type is out of the
visible and measurable spectrum and raises a new challenge to the scientists.
For this type of bio communication we bring a new theoretical hypothesis, based
on the managerial multidisciplinary analysis of a cybernetic model proposed by
us, by simulating the human body function with the virtual computerized system
based on the management of its total knowledge and its perfect quality way of
function. The main bricks used for this virtual construction are: the brain, as
main bioprocessor, and Eve mtDNA and Adam mtDNA, as bio-antennas. This assembly
of the total knowledge, build with “brain reasoning, biological feeling, and
unlimited soul feelingâ€쳌, is called by us “main decision triangle, IQ-EQ-CQâ€쳌.
The main principle of the management of the total knowledge imposes us to not
neglect any information produced by man during the time, even if it seems creasy
at the beginning. Because in the natural fertilisation the spermatozoids are naturally
equipped with the paternal mtDNA (a veritable main bio-GPS), we consider that
the paternal mitochondria DNA have a very important role in the evolution of
the human being life quality and we have developed a new hypothesis, “Adam
mtDNA theoryâ€쳌, in addition to “Eve mtDNA theoryâ€쳌.

Keywords: brain,
mitochondria, maternal, paternal

 

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February 16, 2012

Once again an article is published posing the question of what something is.   The answer to any question of what anything "is," can be answered with the words, "That depends."

Suppose we ask what an automobile "is."  What it "is" depends upon what we choose as being the essential characteristics.  For example, we might agree that, to be an automobile, something that can transport one or more human persons from one place to another, has some kind of engine, has a shell of some sort to protect a driver or occupant from the elements, can be steered by the driver, can be sped up or slowed down by the driver...  But some things have been built and called automobiles by some people that had three wheels, or have a framed but not much of a protective shell, or can be driven only by remote control.  Just how many characteristics usually associated with what an automobile is are enough?  The drawing of definitive lines around what something is, and what something is in many cases arbitrary and subjective.

If one scientist wants to include viruses among living things, he or she can do that.  If another wants to say, "No, to fit the profile of a living thing, something must be capable of reproducing on its own."  If another scientist does not want to include viruses on his/her list of things that are alive, on grounds a virus must insert itself into a cell capable of reproducing itself, and trick that cell into replicating copies of the virus, is the one scientist wrong, and the other right?  Are both wrong.  Are both right?  Well, that depends.  Depends on what?  Depends on whether we wish to include in our definition of who is right, or who is wrong, the postulation that it is okay for two scientists to define "life" by including unassisted self-replication as a characteristic of all living things, or not.

Suppose a million scientists were polled, and asked to vote on whether unassisted self-replicability should be included as an "essential" characteristic for defining what "life is."  And suppose 97% declared that what life "is" includes the characteristic of being able to replicate without access to a cell to invade.  Are the other 3% wrong from that moment onward?  Or, better yet, were those 3% right in that they were thinking in accordance with a permitted laxity right up until the poll was taken, but wrong if they do not go along with the majority opinion from that moment on?  That depends.  Depends on what?  Depends on whether you require that the classification of something fit only one definition.

Engineers and mechanics of some sorts are familiar with a handy little tool for determining the outside diameter of a rivet.  It's called a "go-no-go guage."  Such a gauge can be pocket sized, and can have holes of various sizes in it.  The trick is to find out which is the smallest holed or the largest hole on the sheet that a given rivet will fit through.  But, one's particular application of that tool may impact just which hole is the Goldilocks one -- the smallest the rivet will go through without any pressure, or the next smaller hole, that requires some pressure, or some tapping, to get the rivet to pass through.  Which, in that case, is the 'right' hole?  That depends.  It depends on what application you want to use the bolt for, and what specifications that application must meet to be "good enough" or "tirquable enough."  If a bolt does not fit tightly enough 

Whether any two people would get into a heated argument, or spend millions of dollars competing with one another in researching to be the first to arrive at some new break-through as to what something "is," might be absurd.  Or it might not be absurd.  Well, which is the answer?  That depends.

Happily, in some areas of scientific research, there is no dogma at issues in how one defines something.  In the early days of research and development of jet engines, some of the main drivers of "standards" such as what should be the best materials to use, and what levels of precision of clearance, and tolerance, would suffice, some of the objectives were to build something that would operate for many engine hours, producing a given amount of thrust, without exploding, without melting, without vibrating things around it to pieces, without being any heavier than was necessary...  In other science areas, however, qualitative issues can be something highly subjective.  In medical treatment of burn victims, for example, what are the limits of what patients would be saved, and at what costs.  Suppose a burn victim has not arms, legs, eyes, face left, but can be kept alive, if you spend fifty million dollars and have a staff of twenty people on hand around the clock to attend to the "survivor" for three months, after which the "survivor" is not likely to be able to go on living.  Is quality of life an issue?  Is expense an issue? 

Another area of much debate, as relating to what "life" is, is that one's definition may upset those who want to believe in one or another presumption about whether life occurred as an interaction or a series of interactions between mindless, emotionless, meaningless, purposeless happenstance, or whether it was set in motion -- had live breathed into things -- by a thinking, caring, discriminating sort of creator.  Science has never established which.  Will science ever?  Maybe.  Maybe not.  But there are individual humans who exercise a choice to believe the one or the other, and get angry at those who choose the other possibility.  Often those of the one persuasion call the other such things as "stupid," "stubborn," "dogmatic," "naive."

Is one side right and the other side wrong?  That depends.  Depends on what?
Depends on lots of things.  Depends on whether, UNTIL  SUCH  TIME, as science can prove for a certainty many things that lie beyond reach of science -- so far at least -- have a "right" to choose for themselves what lies beyond what science can "know," and science cannot falsify.

What seems odd to me is that those who choose as most likely the one possibility or the other possibility sometimes seem to want to shut the other side up -- refuse to let them speak, chastise them.

Picture this:  Suppose I were to find a little hermetically sealed cylinder that seems impossible to break into.  No scientist nor engineer nor philosopher nor genius of any sort is able to open that cylinder, so people start arguing over what is inside it.  Scientists and engineers DO, however, discover that they can peel away one thin layer of the outside of that cylinder.  But with each removal of a layer, there is just a slightly smaller cylinder inside it.

People begin to form opinions about what is inside the innermost cylinder.

What do you think is in it?

That cylinder is (because I chose it to be so, and it's my story, thank you) a metaphor for human ignorance.  Will there every be a final peeling away that reveals what is ultimately at the center of that cylinder?  Or will there never be a peeling away that does not merely expose another cylinder within?

Why don't you find someone who has a different idea of what's in there than you have.  Debate it.  Argue about it.  Fight over it.

Will the last one of you left standing be "right" about what's in the center of that cylinder, assuming there is something other than just one more cylinder to infinity?

Human ignorance is like that.

So, now, let us look back at the beginning of this comment.  And ask, "What is life."

Maybe Bill Clinton said it best, under oath, in a Congressional hearing:  "That depends on what you mean by 'is' ."

( : > )

 

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February 16, 2012

According to Trifonov in this article, the definition of "life" is replicating RNA i.e., certain chemical behavior(s) dictated completely by the interaction of those chemicals and the host environment. This process is therefore dependent upon not only the specific chemicals but also the specific environment. I agree, "life" has always been emerging in the universe (the author said "never stopped" which doesn't make sense). As the universe came into existence so did "life." The universe is alive. The "mind" that perceives "life" is itself the definition of "life." "Life" and "Mind" are both inherent in the universe. Existence can be defined as "mind" and scientists can't perceive this because they're excluding from the definition the mechanism of perception. See Youtube video by Krauss "The Universe from Nothing" in which a (similar) conclusion is arrived at: the existence of the astronomers is necessary for the mathematical explanation/proof to be perceived as factual or "true." Mind acting upon mind?

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February 16, 2012

Are you blind to reality?  Or are you afraid of your AAAS church-religious-political-trade-union??

What Is Life?  Opinuion About FACTS ???

Universe-Energy-Mass-Life Compilation
http://universe-life.com/2012/...
 
 
A. The Universe
 
From the Big-Bang it is a rationally commonsensical conjecture that the gravitons, the smallest base primal particles of the universe, must be both mass and energy, i.e. inert mass yet in motion even at the briefest fraction of a second of the pre Big Bang singularity. This is rationally commonsensical since otherwise the Big would not have Banged, the superposition of mass and energy would not have been resolved.
The universe originates, derives and evolves from this energy-mass dualism which is possible and probable due to the small size of the gravitons.
Since gravitation Is the propensity of energy reconversion to mass and energy is mass in motion, gravity is the force exerted between mass formats.
All the matter of the universe is a progeny of the gravitons evolutions, of the natural selection of mass, of some of the mass formats attaining temporary augmented energy constraint in their successive generations, with energy drained from other mass formats, to temporarily postpone, survive, the reversion of their own constitutional mass to the pool of cosmic energy fueling the galactic clusters expansion set in motion by the Big Bang.
 
B. Earth Life
 
Earth Life is just another mass format. A self-replicating mass format. Self-replication is its mode of evolution, natural selection. Its smallest base primal units are the RNAs genes.
The genesis of RNAs genes, life’s primal organisms, is rationally commonsensical thus highly probable, the “naturally-selectedâ€쳌 RNA nucleotides. Life began/evolved on Earth with the natural selection of inanimate RNA, then of some RNA nucleotides, then arriving at the ultimate mode of natural selection, self-replication.
 
C. Know Thyself. Life Is Simpler Than We Are Told
 
The origin-reason and the purpose-fate of life are mechanistic, ethically and practically valueless. Life is the cheapest commodity on Earth.
As Life is just another mass format, due to the oneness of the universe it is commonsensical that natural selection is ubiquitous for ALL mass formats and that life, self-replication, is its extension. And it is commonsensical, too, that evolutions, broken symmetry scenarios, are ubiquitous in all processes in all disciplines and that these evolutions are the “quantum mechanicsâ€쳌 of the processes.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base primal Earth organisms.
 
Life’s evolution, self-replication:
 
Genes (organisms) to genomes (organisms) to monocellular to multicellular organisms:
 
Individual monocells to cooperative monocells communities,“culturesâ€쳌.
Monocells cultures to neural systems, then to nerved multicellular organisms.
 
Human life is just one of many nature’s routes for the natural survival of RNAs, the base Earth organism.
It is up to humans themselves to elect the purpose and format of their life as individuals and as group-members.
 
Dov Henis (comments from 22nd century)
An Embarrassingly Obvious Theory Of Everything
http://universe-life.com/2011/...
http://universe-life.com/2011/...

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February 16, 2012

The only phenomenon unique to life known to me is the ability to evolve, to reproduce with imperfect transmission of hereditary information. Crystals can grow, but do not evolve. Fire can reproduce, but does not evolve.
Of course, if one from this defines Life as "everything which evolves", then are not only viruses and self-replicating RNA life, but life has already been simulated on computers and created de novo in the laboratory - and that is apparently a distasteful conclusion for many.

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February 16, 2012

What all of these putative life forms have in common is that they make proactive choices to obtain energy to survive and replicate themselves.  The molecular formations that are made of energy, but that react with predictably fixed options to other energetic forms, have less in common with those that, in effect, make and select their own options.  These latter are those that we have come to see as living.
But the lines that purport to separate them on the spectrum are necessarily blurred.

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February 16, 2012

Keepitlegal nicely states that what is life depends on how you define it. So, does it matter if we have a definition of life? Not to a scientist except in a barroom discussion. A definition may be required for legal issues. Ultimately society makes legal policy, which we hope are informed at least somewhat by science.

What about my own barroom discussion about the definition of life. I personally start with the proposal that life is any population that reproduces a reasonable facsimile of itself provided that the materials and conditions for its growth are present. A virus is no different from us in that its necessary materials and conditions are in a cell whereas ours happens to be the atmosphere and biota of earth (which the virus's cell is also a part of). However, the earth per se is not a component of the definition since life could exist anywhere, even in the darkest parts of space, so long as the materials are available for the continuation of that particular life form.

Long-term, the virus relies on sustaining the cellular environment (i.e., not killing it) just as we depend on a sustainable-to-us earth. But, even if we or viruses we destroy our environments, we are life--just here temporarily. How many replications (of the population, not the individual) are enough to qualify as life? As Keepitlegal states 'it depends on your definition'. 

Where does the replication-oriented definition collapse? What about the hypothetical Lt. Commmander Data from Star Trek. Those who have seen Star Trek will surely recognize Data as a sentient being. But Data can't reproduce and nobody knows how to rebuild him. He was built (replicated??) once. What would separate Data from an automobile, which by my definition are even more apt to be called 'life' than Data since we could argue that an automobile has found an interesting parastic niche in which humans are used to replicate that 'species'? Although Data does not yet exist anywhere but in the imaginations of the writers of Star Trek and millions of Trekkies, my barroom discussion most assuredly would show that I need to create a special exemption to my replication-focussed definition of life.

In short, Keepitlegal is right. It depends on the definition and that definition must remain flexible as we continue to uncover new understandings of life.

I need a beer. Oatmeal stout for breakfast anyone? Next, we can talk about the meaning of life.

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February 16, 2012

The replication of a molecule is not equivalent to the activity of cellular life, a primordial virus perhaps but not metabolism plus replication. The RNA first school generally ignores the alternative for abiogenesis, metabolism first, driven by a thermodynamic gradient such as in Mike Russell's scenario, followed by the coevolution of metabolism and replication. The late Robert Shapiro has cogently criticized the primordial soup/RNA equals the origin of life school, but Trifonov goes on as if no such critique exists.

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February 17, 2012

The flaw in all these definitions is that an example of
life is sought from which a definition of life can be derived.  The problem is
that, for instance, the first replicating species was already alive before it
replicated and no more alive than its conspecifics that did not
replicate.

As life is a property of living processes it seems to me
to be more logical to define the property and only then to go looking for
examples of that property e.g. what extra-solar processes qualify as
life?

The one property which clearly differentiates life from
similar non-life processes is where some number of independent, say, chemical
processes, produce an emergent property which then regulates those
underlying processes to support and sustain the emergent property.  Thus
bottom-up processes turn around and become top-down regulated processes.  The
emergent property that achieves this is what we call 'life'.

The other properties that are regularly attributed to
life, such as self repair, reproduction and homeostasis all contribute to the
same end i.e. many independent processes supporting the continued existence of
one emergent property, the property being 'life'.

This definition is not the whole story but it does
define the point at which a process becomes a 'living' process even if
fleetingly.  I outlined this concept in an essay to my Evolutionary Psychology
discussion group entitled 'The Point at which Non-Life becomes
Life'.

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February 17, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!

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February 17, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!

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February 17, 2012

Definitions are of course arbitrary by their very nature, but some are more useful than others.

I go with the definition that I learned in Mike Bratt's virology class at Harvard Medical School 40 years ago:  anything is living if and only if it (1) has two different forms of nucleic acid and (2) can carry out protein synthesis (3) within a compartment bounded by a lipid bilayer membrane.  This definition is useful because it includes everything that I know of that I wish to include, and equally important it excludes what I wish to exclude.  Viruses are out.  Sol Spiegelman's in vitro replicating RNA qualifies as a living organism only if one includes Dr. Spiegelman as a part of the organism, which would be fine with me.

Others may have different wishes as to what to include or exclude, and they are welcome to their own definition.

If and when you bring me for my consideration a specimen that doesn't meet the above definition (say, from the planet Xeno), I will be happy to reopen the question.

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February 17, 2012

Good meaningful article,we are about to synthesize life,i hope(RNA).

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February 17, 2012

I encountered the question of "what is life" when tutoring some students in a silly beginner's course in biology at a local community college.  The same course didn't cover much about evolution (I guess too politically challenging), but it required students to learn a complicated answer to the question of "what is life".  Yes, there are multiple definitions out there.  But, you have to emphasize that this is not a scientific question, just a dictionary meaning question.  The word 'life' applies to whatever you want it to mean.  It's just a word.  What is, is.  You want to call a virus life, fine.   You want to call an atom life, fine also.  There is really no insight to be gained from this exercise.  Can we replicate DNA in a cell?  Yes.  Can we replicate it in a test-tube?  Yes, again.  Are both of these examples of life?  Only if you want them to be...

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February 17, 2012

I like the definition of life as being the ability to adapt in novel ways to your environment. I like it because it shows the problems we get into when we try to analyze something alive. Analysis is linear thinking where cause and effect are close together and we can connect the dots. Living organisms are more than complex, where the dots are networked and impossible to analyze. Linear systems need a pencil and paper to figure out; complex systems need a computer on which to simulate the system; adaptive systems need something more--like learning more of the forces behind why they adapt the way they do.

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February 17, 2012

Life is the effect of God's will...

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February 17, 2012

No doubt scientists will study, design experiments, run complex computer modelling, apply intelligence, and finally succeed in creating life in the laboratory.  And then they will hale their achievement as disproving Intelligent Design! 

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February 17, 2012

I address the question "what is life?" early in my human anatomy & physiology course with the answer AUTOPOIESIS, or "self making."  The self-maintaining nature of living organisms is a useful conceptual framework for beginning students and they think about the nature of  living processes for the first time. http://my-ap.us/wkAfGg

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February 17, 2012

Stephen
Hawking: *What is it that breathes fire
into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? ... Then we shall all,
philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the
discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we
find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for
then we would know the mind of God. * (A brief history of time)

Henry Schaefer - *The significance and joy in my science comes
in the occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself,
'So that's how God did it!' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's
plan.* (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 23, 1991)

Lev Tolstoi - *The bad part is that people of medicine
dealing with the body more than soul.* (Last years journal / About God and
man)

.....................

In the computer
language, the soul is called soft. However, the new machine is wireless
controlled, and the internal soft is subordinated to an external programme,
which realise a whole harmony.

Because the
scientist explanation of the unknown facts, looks like:

*it is possible
and probable*.

I said, using the
same technique:

*It is sure that
Adam mtDNA exists in the xifoid process, one of man's ribs.

It is probable
that Eve mtDNA is a copy of Adam mtDNA, produced during ovogenesis process,
controlled by Adam mtDNA.* (Genesis 2.22)

 

to Ed Rybicki

I suppose that the definition is OK,
especially for the human being, and I try to explain with my scientific words,
including the feedback theory.

The male soul (called the spirit) is a 33
THz vibrating string and the female soul (called organic soul) is a human aura
vibrating on 100-300 MHz, depending on special organic function and temptation.

The soul and the spirit are virtual
memories on magnetic field.

The body is the active memory card.

The virus is polarization information from
the soul and the spirit.

When another soul and spirit is in harmony
with an infected human aura then the virus information will be received by the
soul and will infect the body.

This is happening in stem cells therapy
too, when the old maladies come back in the human body in 40-50 days, because
the old information stored on the own soul virtual memory.

 

to keepitlegal

There is not any difference between automobile,
controlled by the man's soft (Ezekiel 10) and a vegetable or an animal,
controlled by a specific natural or created programme.

Only the man is controlled by .... the free
will,

exception the man with hybridization of
brain tissue with semiconductor chips.

There is a big difference between the
virus, sexless living organism, and the bisexual living organism, because the
sexless live organism can arise naturally and the bisexual living organism are
only created. There is not any logical explanation of the natural evolution
only by replication from the sexless to bisexual living organism.

If we look at the genetically modified
organism, they are becoming sexless, because they are unable for naturally
reproduction and they are waiting for the human assisted fertilisation.

 

to Lon
Jones

*life is the ability to adapt in novel ways
to your environment* ......OK!

but only inside his own programme.

Only the man is free and he can modify the
programme of living organism.

And he does it!

He did not yet know the feedback. However,
he will find out in future processes.

 

to Robert Karl Stonjek

I supose in the case of the human being
*self repair, reproduction and homeostasis* are controlled by Adam mtDNA,
existed only in xifoid process (Paul, Hebrew 4.12).

Because the soul feedback not always the
spare parts are compatible with the body.

 

Somebody created a perfect system with a
perfect feedback!
 

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Lon Jones

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

I like the definition of life as being the ability to adapt in novel ways to your environment. I like it because it shows the problems we get into when we try to analyze something alive. Analysis is linear thinking where cause and effect are close together and we can connect the dots. Living organisms are more than complex, where the dots are networked and impossible to analyze. Linear systems need a pencil and paper to figure out; complex systems need a computer on which to simulate the system; adaptive systems need something more--like learning more of the forces behind why they adapt the way they do.

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JaayLove

Posts: 1

February 17, 2012

Life is the effect of God's will...

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levinjf

Posts: 3

February 17, 2012

No doubt scientists will study, design experiments, run complex computer modelling, apply intelligence, and finally succeed in creating life in the laboratory.  And then they will hale their achievement as disproving Intelligent Design! 

Avatar of: Kevin Patton

Kevin Patton

Posts: 1

February 17, 2012

I address the question "what is life?" early in my human anatomy & physiology course with the answer AUTOPOIESIS, or "self making."  The self-maintaining nature of living organisms is a useful conceptual framework for beginning students and they think about the nature of  living processes for the first time. http://my-ap.us/wkAfGg

Avatar of: alexandru

alexandru

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

Stephen
Hawking: *What is it that breathes fire
into the equations and makes a universe for them to describe? ... Then we shall all,
philosophers, scientists, and just ordinary people, be able to take part in the
discussion of the question of why it is that we and the universe exist. If we
find the answer to that, it would be the ultimate triumph of human reason - for
then we would know the mind of God. * (A brief history of time)

Henry Schaefer - *The significance and joy in my science comes
in the occasional moments of discovering something new and saying to myself,
'So that's how God did it!' My goal is to understand a little corner of God's
plan.* (U.S. News & World Report, Dec. 23, 1991)

Lev Tolstoi - *The bad part is that people of medicine
dealing with the body more than soul.* (Last years journal / About God and
man)

.....................

In the computer
language, the soul is called soft. However, the new machine is wireless
controlled, and the internal soft is subordinated to an external programme,
which realise a whole harmony.

Because the
scientist explanation of the unknown facts, looks like:

*it is possible
and probable*.

I said, using the
same technique:

*It is sure that
Adam mtDNA exists in the xifoid process, one of man's ribs.

It is probable
that Eve mtDNA is a copy of Adam mtDNA, produced during ovogenesis process,
controlled by Adam mtDNA.* (Genesis 2.22)

 

to Ed Rybicki

I suppose that the definition is OK,
especially for the human being, and I try to explain with my scientific words,
including the feedback theory.

The male soul (called the spirit) is a 33
THz vibrating string and the female soul (called organic soul) is a human aura
vibrating on 100-300 MHz, depending on special organic function and temptation.

The soul and the spirit are virtual
memories on magnetic field.

The body is the active memory card.

The virus is polarization information from
the soul and the spirit.

When another soul and spirit is in harmony
with an infected human aura then the virus information will be received by the
soul and will infect the body.

This is happening in stem cells therapy
too, when the old maladies come back in the human body in 40-50 days, because
the old information stored on the own soul virtual memory.

 

to keepitlegal

There is not any difference between automobile,
controlled by the man's soft (Ezekiel 10) and a vegetable or an animal,
controlled by a specific natural or created programme.

Only the man is controlled by .... the free
will,

exception the man with hybridization of
brain tissue with semiconductor chips.

There is a big difference between the
virus, sexless living organism, and the bisexual living organism, because the
sexless live organism can arise naturally and the bisexual living organism are
only created. There is not any logical explanation of the natural evolution
only by replication from the sexless to bisexual living organism.

If we look at the genetically modified
organism, they are becoming sexless, because they are unable for naturally
reproduction and they are waiting for the human assisted fertilisation.

 

to Lon
Jones

*life is the ability to adapt in novel ways
to your environment* ......OK!

but only inside his own programme.

Only the man is free and he can modify the
programme of living organism.

And he does it!

He did not yet know the feedback. However,
he will find out in future processes.

 

to Robert Karl Stonjek

I supose in the case of the human being
*self repair, reproduction and homeostasis* are controlled by Adam mtDNA,
existed only in xifoid process (Paul, Hebrew 4.12).

Because the soul feedback not always the
spare parts are compatible with the body.

 

Somebody created a perfect system with a
perfect feedback!
 

Avatar of: Robert Karl Stonjek

Robert Karl Stonjek

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

The flaw in all these definitions is that an example of
life is sought from which a definition of life can be derived.  The problem is
that, for instance, the first replicating species was already alive before it
replicated and no more alive than its conspecifics that did not
replicate.

As life is a property of living processes it seems to me
to be more logical to define the property and only then to go looking for
examples of that property e.g. what extra-solar processes qualify as
life?

The one property which clearly differentiates life from
similar non-life processes is where some number of independent, say, chemical
processes, produce an emergent property which then regulates those
underlying processes to support and sustain the emergent property.  Thus
bottom-up processes turn around and become top-down regulated processes.  The
emergent property that achieves this is what we call 'life'.

The other properties that are regularly attributed to
life, such as self repair, reproduction and homeostasis all contribute to the
same end i.e. many independent processes supporting the continued existence of
one emergent property, the property being 'life'.

This definition is not the whole story but it does
define the point at which a process becomes a 'living' process even if
fleetingly.  I outlined this concept in an essay to my Evolutionary Psychology
discussion group entitled 'The Point at which Non-Life becomes
Life'.

Avatar of: herbdreyer

herbdreyer

Posts: 5

February 17, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!

Avatar of: herbdreyer

herbdreyer

Posts: 5

February 17, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!

Avatar of: mightythor

mightythor

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

Definitions are of course arbitrary by their very nature, but some are more useful than others.

I go with the definition that I learned in Mike Bratt's virology class at Harvard Medical School 40 years ago:  anything is living if and only if it (1) has two different forms of nucleic acid and (2) can carry out protein synthesis (3) within a compartment bounded by a lipid bilayer membrane.  This definition is useful because it includes everything that I know of that I wish to include, and equally important it excludes what I wish to exclude.  Viruses are out.  Sol Spiegelman's in vitro replicating RNA qualifies as a living organism only if one includes Dr. Spiegelman as a part of the organism, which would be fine with me.

Others may have different wishes as to what to include or exclude, and they are welcome to their own definition.

If and when you bring me for my consideration a specimen that doesn't meet the above definition (say, from the planet Xeno), I will be happy to reopen the question.

Avatar of: Namby Ravi Reddiar

Namby Ravi Reddiar

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

Good meaningful article,we are about to synthesize life,i hope(RNA).

Avatar of: David Hill

David Hill

Posts: 1457

February 17, 2012

I encountered the question of "what is life" when tutoring some students in a silly beginner's course in biology at a local community college.  The same course didn't cover much about evolution (I guess too politically challenging), but it required students to learn a complicated answer to the question of "what is life".  Yes, there are multiple definitions out there.  But, you have to emphasize that this is not a scientific question, just a dictionary meaning question.  The word 'life' applies to whatever you want it to mean.  It's just a word.  What is, is.  You want to call a virus life, fine.   You want to call an atom life, fine also.  There is really no insight to be gained from this exercise.  Can we replicate DNA in a cell?  Yes.  Can we replicate it in a test-tube?  Yes, again.  Are both of these examples of life?  Only if you want them to be...

Avatar of: Tang  Thunder

Tang Thunder

Posts: 1457

February 20, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!http://www.rqsulfates.com

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 20, 2012

I can only define life by its attributes; its essence seems forever to remain as the most hidden of the hidden and the most manifest of the manifest: it is like a match which you strike and flames up--what is the essence of the flame hidden in the match?  You can only know it by its attributes, the essence of its fire remains hidden and as hot as hell!http://www.rqsulfates.com

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

Double post.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

I am surprised that no one has mentioned this chap's efforts on the question, "What is Life?"  http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/...

It has certainly received its share of bashing, but I think it qualifies as fodder for this discussion.

Although I claim no scientific training, but an enthusiast of all fields of science, I find his approach unusual and refreshing.  I also sensed that it was a simple solution to an otherwise complicated jumbled of disconnected facts.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

I agree to some extent with keepitlegal but I don't think it is useful to be quite so completely arbitrary about what one considers "life".  By the definitions that propose that self-replicating RNA is alive the very simple forms produced in the computerized Game of Life would also have to be considered living.  Does this really get us to a useful place?  If we were to discover simple chemically self-replicating molecules on another planet would this have profound effects on our view of ourselves in the universe?  Would this really challenge anyone's theology?  While such a finding would be extremely exciting it trivializes what is truly unique and mysterious about the existence of life on our planet.  When most people think about living things they picture people, animals, plants, etc.  These are all complex and "interesting".  We could use as an analogy Godel's completeness theorem in mathematics/logic.  This profound proof of the limits of logical reasoning only holds true for systems that are sufficiently complex.  What is truly amazing about "life" as we know it is the deep conundrum of nucleic acid coding of proteins, which requires proteins.  This profoundly puzzling aspect of decoding draws little attention in most discussions of the origins of life.  The sequence of translation of nucleic acid (messenger RNA) into protein is mediated by nucleic acid adapters (transfer RNA) recognizing triplet bases to place just the right amino acid in the growing protein sequence.  The often ignored step in this process is that while the tRNA recognizes the triplet codon, the correct amino acid is placed on this tRNA by a family of proteins, the tRNA synthetases.  These are the true decoders.  Thus the translation of information from nucleic acid to protein requires the pre-existence of twenty-plus proteins to attach the proper amino acids to the correct transfer RNA.  To my knowledge there is no step-wise manner to account for the evolution of this system.  Given the fact of this truly thought provoking property of complex life on Earth I choose to exercise my prerogative to reserve the use of the term "living" to organisms exhibiting this property.  There are additional fairly concise ways to define this sort of life, one being to add notions such as being a self-contained open thermodynamic system to such standards as being able to replicate without using macromolecular components of another living system.  There may be other ways beyond life as we know it to satisfy this definition of life but replication alone doesn't do it.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

Great article. My own views mirror those here, but go a bit further in extending "life" all the way down the chain: http://www.independent.com/new...

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

We could make differnece between living organism and non-living by finding the essential difference between them. I have a suggestion for one. The ability of self evolution. It contains keeping itself alive, keeping its own inner environment despite of outer disturbing influences and making itself still more and more independent to the environment from witch it originates. A propos - Could be this independence the biggest and the longest lasting evolutionary trend?

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 22, 2012

There is a case to be made extending the concept of "life" beyond the realm of biology. In this model  life process can be traced at least as far back as stellar nucleosynthesis and detected in the evolution of, for example, geology as well the development of technology within the medium of shared human imagination.

It can usefully thought of, overall, as the evolution of new atomic and molecular species.

This may not seem to fit intuitively with the technological phase, particularly with respect of the fastest growing field of information processing devices. But looking more carefully, we find that the development of computer chips, for instance are utterly dependent on novel chemistry for their operation. In electronics and photonics, the fastest growing areas today, chemistry is the engine under the bonnet inconspicuously driving change.

As with biology, new configurations of atoms make it all happen!

The broad evolutionary model leading to such interpretations is outlined upon, in a very informal manner in “The Goldilocks Effect: What Has Serendipity Ever Done For Us?â€쳌 . A free download in e-book formats from the “Unusual Perspectivesâ€쳌 website.

A more formal treatment is pending - but don't hold your breath :>)

Avatar of: Theosophist

Theosophist

Posts: 2

February 22, 2012

Double post.

Avatar of: Theosophist

Theosophist

Posts: 2

February 22, 2012

I am surprised that no one has mentioned this chap's efforts on the question, "What is Life?"  http://www.mdpi.com/2075-1729/...

It has certainly received its share of bashing, but I think it qualifies as fodder for this discussion.

Although I claim no scientific training, but an enthusiast of all fields of science, I find his approach unusual and refreshing.  I also sensed that it was a simple solution to an otherwise complicated jumbled of disconnected facts.

Avatar of: RaleighGreg

RaleighGreg

Posts: 2

February 22, 2012

I agree to some extent with keepitlegal but I don't think it is useful to be quite so completely arbitrary about what one considers "life".  By the definitions that propose that self-replicating RNA is alive the very simple forms produced in the computerized Game of Life would also have to be considered living.  Does this really get us to a useful place?  If we were to discover simple chemically self-replicating molecules on another planet would this have profound effects on our view of ourselves in the universe?  Would this really challenge anyone's theology?  While such a finding would be extremely exciting it trivializes what is truly unique and mysterious about the existence of life on our planet.  When most people think about living things they picture people, animals, plants, etc.  These are all complex and "interesting".  We could use as an analogy Godel's completeness theorem in mathematics/logic.  This profound proof of the limits of logical reasoning only holds true for systems that are sufficiently complex.  What is truly amazing about "life" as we know it is the deep conundrum of nucleic acid coding of proteins, which requires proteins.  This profoundly puzzling aspect of decoding draws little attention in most discussions of the origins of life.  The sequence of translation of nucleic acid (messenger RNA) into protein is mediated by nucleic acid adapters (transfer RNA) recognizing triplet bases to place just the right amino acid in the growing protein sequence.  The often ignored step in this process is that while the tRNA recognizes the triplet codon, the correct amino acid is placed on this tRNA by a family of proteins, the tRNA synthetases.  These are the true decoders.  Thus the translation of information from nucleic acid to protein requires the pre-existence of twenty-plus proteins to attach the proper amino acids to the correct transfer RNA.  To my knowledge there is no step-wise manner to account for the evolution of this system.  Given the fact of this truly thought provoking property of complex life on Earth I choose to exercise my prerogative to reserve the use of the term "living" to organisms exhibiting this property.  There are additional fairly concise ways to define this sort of life, one being to add notions such as being a self-contained open thermodynamic system to such standards as being able to replicate without using macromolecular components of another living system.  There may be other ways beyond life as we know it to satisfy this definition of life but replication alone doesn't do it.

Avatar of: Tam Hunt

Tam Hunt

Posts: 1

February 22, 2012

Great article. My own views mirror those here, but go a bit further in extending "life" all the way down the chain: http://www.independent.com/new...

February 22, 2012

We could make differnece between living organism and non-living by finding the essential difference between them. I have a suggestion for one. The ability of self evolution. It contains keeping itself alive, keeping its own inner environment despite of outer disturbing influences and making itself still more and more independent to the environment from witch it originates. A propos - Could be this independence the biggest and the longest lasting evolutionary trend?

Avatar of: petergkinnon

petergkinnon

Posts: 1

February 22, 2012

There is a case to be made extending the concept of "life" beyond the realm of biology. In this model  life process can be traced at least as far back as stellar nucleosynthesis and detected in the evolution of, for example, geology as well the development of technology within the medium of shared human imagination.

It can usefully thought of, overall, as the evolution of new atomic and molecular species.

This may not seem to fit intuitively with the technological phase, particularly with respect of the fastest growing field of information processing devices. But looking more carefully, we find that the development of computer chips, for instance are utterly dependent on novel chemistry for their operation. In electronics and photonics, the fastest growing areas today, chemistry is the engine under the bonnet inconspicuously driving change.

As with biology, new configurations of atoms make it all happen!

The broad evolutionary model leading to such interpretations is outlined upon, in a very informal manner in “The Goldilocks Effect: What Has Serendipity Ever Done For Us?â€쳌 . A free download in e-book formats from the “Unusual Perspectivesâ€쳌 website.

A more formal treatment is pending - but don't hold your breath :>)

Avatar of: Jeriel Gabilo Militar

Jeriel Gabilo Militar

Posts: 1457

February 23, 2012

"Designing the simplest possible living organism artificially may lend clues as to what life is."
A living organism is an organism that has LIFE. The above statement then could be restated thus, "Designing the simplest possible organism that has LIFE may lend clues as to what LIFE is."Borrowing keepitlegal's example of the car, it's like saying "Designing the simplest CAR may lend clues as to what CAR is."

Absurd.

Avatar of: trifonov

trifonov

Posts: 4

February 23, 2012

According to Shapiro, it is hard to imagine RNA forming in a prebiotic world. But read E Di Mauro paper on long chains of RNA synthesised in water solution 

Avatar of: dschwartzman

dschwartzman

Posts: 7

February 23, 2012

This synthesis can occur in a lab experiment with just the right starting materials and concentrations in a water solution, an analogue of the primordial soup scenario that Shapiro critiqued as a just so story widely implausible in the natural environment. Or as Di Mauro concedes (his 2010 Journal of Cosmology paper) in a hydrothermal vent system which is a more plausible early Earth environment with coevolution, the origin of metabolism and replication.

Avatar of: rameshraghuvanshi

rameshraghuvanshi

Posts: 20

February 23, 2012

Simple answer for what is life is survive in any condition

Avatar of: Ichha Purak

Ichha Purak

Posts: 1457

February 23, 2012

Virus are supposed to lie  at the boundry between living and non living as although having genome as RNA or DNA need host cell to propagte or reproduce. When in side a host cell can be considered as simplest form of life.

Avatar of: Santosh Bhaskaran

Santosh Bhaskaran

Posts: 1457

February 23, 2012

In general, life could be defined as a set of processes (physical or chemical) which can self-reproduce/multiply under favourable environments.
Life, as we know yet, is a set of chemical processes which does the same.
Viruses and even viroids are a form of life since their set of chemical processes self-reproduce in a host cell which here is the favourable environment.

Avatar of: drtherm

drtherm

Posts: 1

February 23, 2012

I pose the question in my cell biology class to stimulate the discussion of definitions.  The best answer is not that there are many definitions, but there are none.  At least, not without a context, which requires additional adjectives and adverbs to make the question clear.  Unfortunately, undergraduates hate the idea that there is no absolute answer to ANY question. I go on for an hour about a definition of life vs a list of characteristics of life, and in the end i get.. "so what is the definition of life that you want us to use on the exam?"

Avatar of: Conor O

Conor O'Byrne

Posts: 2

February 23, 2012

I teach a foundation biology course at University and we ask that very question in the first lecture. "What is life"? Of course there is no hard and fast answer as the discussion below has highlighted very well. But we are all entitled to our little scientific prejudices and for me autonomous self replication just isn't enough - there are examples of abiotic autonomous replication in clay. I think a second "essential" characteristic has to be included in any general definition of life - survival instinct. For life to occur you need an ability to replicate but you also need mechanisms that protect life in the intervals between replication. Without survival mechanisms living entities would never get a chance to reproduce. The survival instinct could also be described as responsiveness to environment - responses to changing environments are nearly also aimed at enhancing survival. 

So for me a general definition of life would go as follows:
Life is characterized by two fundamental properties, a survival instinct that allows persistence in the environment and an ability to autonomously reproduce. 

Avatar of: trifonov

trifonov

Posts: 4

February 23, 2012

 It's just a word, of course. But I need definition that would guide me in experimental recreation of origin of life. ET

Avatar of: trifonov

trifonov

Posts: 4

February 23, 2012

It depends, of course. I need definition that would guide me in experimental recreation of origin of life. ET

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

"Designing the simplest possible living organism artificially may lend clues as to what life is."
A living organism is an organism that has LIFE. The above statement then could be restated thus, "Designing the simplest possible organism that has LIFE may lend clues as to what LIFE is."Borrowing keepitlegal's example of the car, it's like saying "Designing the simplest CAR may lend clues as to what CAR is."

Absurd.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

 It's just a word, of course. But I need definition that would guide me in experimental recreation of origin of life. ET

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

It depends, of course. I need definition that would guide me in experimental recreation of origin of life. ET

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

According to Shapiro, it is hard to imagine RNA forming in a prebiotic world. But read E Di Mauro paper on long chains of RNA synthesised in water solution 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

This synthesis can occur in a lab experiment with just the right starting materials and concentrations in a water solution, an analogue of the primordial soup scenario that Shapiro critiqued as a just so story widely implausible in the natural environment. Or as Di Mauro concedes (his 2010 Journal of Cosmology paper) in a hydrothermal vent system which is a more plausible early Earth environment with coevolution, the origin of metabolism and replication.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

Simple answer for what is life is survive in any condition

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

Virus are supposed to lie  at the boundry between living and non living as although having genome as RNA or DNA need host cell to propagte or reproduce. When in side a host cell can be considered as simplest form of life.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

In general, life could be defined as a set of processes (physical or chemical) which can self-reproduce/multiply under favourable environments.
Life, as we know yet, is a set of chemical processes which does the same.
Viruses and even viroids are a form of life since their set of chemical processes self-reproduce in a host cell which here is the favourable environment.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

I pose the question in my cell biology class to stimulate the discussion of definitions.  The best answer is not that there are many definitions, but there are none.  At least, not without a context, which requires additional adjectives and adverbs to make the question clear.  Unfortunately, undergraduates hate the idea that there is no absolute answer to ANY question. I go on for an hour about a definition of life vs a list of characteristics of life, and in the end i get.. "so what is the definition of life that you want us to use on the exam?"

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 23, 2012

I teach a foundation biology course at University and we ask that very question in the first lecture. "What is life"? Of course there is no hard and fast answer as the discussion below has highlighted very well. But we are all entitled to our little scientific prejudices and for me autonomous self replication just isn't enough - there are examples of abiotic autonomous replication in clay. I think a second "essential" characteristic has to be included in any general definition of life - survival instinct. For life to occur you need an ability to replicate but you also need mechanisms that protect life in the intervals between replication. Without survival mechanisms living entities would never get a chance to reproduce. The survival instinct could also be described as responsiveness to environment - responses to changing environments are nearly also aimed at enhancing survival. 

So for me a general definition of life would go as follows:
Life is characterized by two fundamental properties, a survival instinct that allows persistence in the environment and an ability to autonomously reproduce. 

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 24, 2012

To
the Biologist, LIFE is frequently defined as replication.  Yet we know when an erythrocyte, which lacks
the ability to replicate, is alive and when it is not.  When it is alive it consumes glucose and
produces lactic acid.  Kill it, and that
stops.

          This very observation
gives us insight to the Physicist’s definition of life as laid out by
Schroedinger (1946?) in his short treatise, “What is life?â€쳌   This persuasive little book resulted from four
lectures given in Dublin.  It had an
important impact on the explorers of structural biology described in the “Eighth
Day of Creationâ€쳌 by Horace Greely Judson. 
Schroedinger points out that the dominant feature of living systems is
that they “appearâ€쳌 to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  When energy, in the form of substance, is fed
to living systems it is used to make order rather than increase the entropy as
is the case for systems approaching equilibrium.

          Ilya Prigogine in 1977
received the Nobel Prize for his work describing the nature of the Second Law
in near-to-equilibrium systems.  These calculations
were well described by Katchalsky and have remained the physics that best
describes living systems.   They raise the level of the definition of “lifeâ€쳌
to provide a state distinguishing all living creatures that are alive in contrast
to when they are dead! 

          Replication should not
be taken as a definition of life.   It
must be defined as the basis for evolution! 
In fact however life evolved it must have had the basis for a general
mechanism for maintaining all of its living processes which as Prigogine repeatedly
described in his examples as interlocked with each other.  During evolution life had to retain the
original mechanism for each living creature.

          A virus is the
equivalent of a tape.  It contains the
information needed for its reproduction. 
It can remain dormant and dehydrated for many years.  It waits for access to a living cell that can
use its information—its tape recorder which has access to energy.

Thomas H. Haines, Visiting Professor, Rockefeller University, 1230 York
Avenue, NY, NY 10065. thaines@rockefeller.edu.  212-873-2982, 212-327-8284.

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of:

Posts: 0

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of: ThomasHaines

ThomasHaines

Posts: 1

February 24, 2012

To
the Biologist, LIFE is frequently defined as replication.  Yet we know when an erythrocyte, which lacks
the ability to replicate, is alive and when it is not.  When it is alive it consumes glucose and
produces lactic acid.  Kill it, and that
stops.

          This very observation
gives us insight to the Physicist’s definition of life as laid out by
Schroedinger (1946?) in his short treatise, “What is life?â€쳌   This persuasive little book resulted from four
lectures given in Dublin.  It had an
important impact on the explorers of structural biology described in the “Eighth
Day of Creationâ€쳌 by Horace Greely Judson. 
Schroedinger points out that the dominant feature of living systems is
that they “appearâ€쳌 to violate the Second Law of Thermodynamics.  When energy, in the form of substance, is fed
to living systems it is used to make order rather than increase the entropy as
is the case for systems approaching equilibrium.

          Ilya Prigogine in 1977
received the Nobel Prize for his work describing the nature of the Second Law
in near-to-equilibrium systems.  These calculations
were well described by Katchalsky and have remained the physics that best
describes living systems.   They raise the level of the definition of “lifeâ€쳌
to provide a state distinguishing all living creatures that are alive in contrast
to when they are dead! 

          Replication should not
be taken as a definition of life.   It
must be defined as the basis for evolution! 
In fact however life evolved it must have had the basis for a general
mechanism for maintaining all of its living processes which as Prigogine repeatedly
described in his examples as interlocked with each other.  During evolution life had to retain the
original mechanism for each living creature.

          A virus is the
equivalent of a tape.  It contains the
information needed for its reproduction. 
It can remain dormant and dehydrated for many years.  It waits for access to a living cell that can
use its information—its tape recorder which has access to energy.

Thomas H. Haines, Visiting Professor, Rockefeller University, 1230 York
Avenue, NY, NY 10065. thaines@rockefeller.edu.  212-873-2982, 212-327-8284.

Avatar of: RoseTree

RoseTree

Posts: 3

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of: RoseTree

RoseTree

Posts: 3

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of: RoseTree

RoseTree

Posts: 3

February 24, 2012

I hope that building a living organism from building blocks helps to understand life. But an answer to "What is life" probably is far away.
 
Since the question seems to be too difficult, it might be rephrased. My suggestion would be: How did life start?
We than come to the organic molecules right away (in my opinion).

Avatar of: sagejohn

sagejohn

Posts: 2

February 27, 2012

The universe is filled with a pile of molecules & atoms spinning in a big endless 3D kaleidoscope.  Life molecules are the result of the interactions between the nonlinear distributed electric charges in those molecules.   Some atoms and molecules bind with each other and some reject each other.  At the end of the day, there is no such thing as life.

We are just one set of molecular configurations whose behavior is predictable based on the known laws of molecular interactions.  All that we can sense is mechanical and electromagnetic energies & polarities.  Speech, vision, writing, gestures, etc. are a natural extension of the geometric shape of the molecules we are made up of.  We cannot sense, report, invent, imagine, or create anything outside of the electrical or mechanical objects and fields we can sense.

I suspect we detect less than 1% of the whole field (the entire universe) in which we exist.

So, ever how configured, we can only pass information between each other in the forms of mechanical vibrations (sound, touch,) and electromagnetic waves (visual) and electric charges of nonlinear distributions (taste, smell).

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Posts: 0

February 27, 2012

The universe is filled with a pile of molecules & atoms spinning in a big endless 3D kaleidoscope.  Life molecules are the result of the interactions between the nonlinear distributed electric charges in those molecules.   Some atoms and molecules bind with each other and some reject each other.  At the end of the day, there is no such thing as life.

We are just one set of molecular configurations whose behavior is predictable based on the known laws of molecular interactions.  All that we can sense is mechanical and electromagnetic energies & polarities.  Speech, vision, writing, gestures, etc. are a natural extension of the geometric shape of the molecules we are made up of.  We cannot sense, report, invent, imagine, or create anything outside of the electrical or mechanical objects and fields we can sense.

I suspect we detect less than 1% of the whole field (the entire universe) in which we exist.

So, ever how configured, we can only pass information between each other in the forms of mechanical vibrations (sound, touch,) and electromagnetic waves (visual) and electric charges of nonlinear distributions (taste, smell).

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Posts: 0

February 28, 2012

As a techer in university department of Zoology I want to say that any assembled biochemical molecules and ions having property to conserve energy as per rules of thermodynamics and property of self replication as to maintain its existance in nature is included as life like virus, viroide, prions etc. The early steps of biochemical evolution in the primordial broth has been discribed by Millar and other workers. The three componets such as RNA, DNA and PROTEINS were evolved, but which one was first? It is still a burning question after the work of Proziner,s on Prion. The relationship is described as
DNA----------->
<------------- RNA-------------->
?<-------------?<----------- PROTEIN
The knowledge on third is most important for final conclusin and definition.

Avatar of: Narendra

Narendra

Posts: 1457

February 28, 2012

As a techer in university department of Zoology I want to say that any assembled biochemical molecules and ions having property to conserve energy as per rules of thermodynamics and property of self replication as to maintain its existance in nature is included as life like virus, viroide, prions etc. The early steps of biochemical evolution in the primordial broth has been discribed by Millar and other workers. The three componets such as RNA, DNA and PROTEINS were evolved, but which one was first? It is still a burning question after the work of Proziner,s on Prion. The relationship is described as
DNA----------->
<------------- RNA-------------->
?<-------------?<----------- PROTEIN
The knowledge on third is most important for final conclusin and definition.

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Posts: 0

February 28, 2012

People did not have an exact idea while designing AIRPLANE. And designing it they came to the right clues as to what AIRPLANE is.  Absurd?

Avatar of: trifonov

trifonov

Posts: 4

February 28, 2012

People did not have an exact idea while designing AIRPLANE. And designing it they came to the right clues as to what AIRPLANE is.  Absurd?

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